Most advice on internet forums is to avoid Delhi.
Getting in and getting out as quickly as possible is the strong suggestion.
The general rant is that Delhi is chaotic, busy and expensive.
Most of this is perhaps quite right. But then there is much to Delhi; a lot’s to see.
Delhi is the microcosm of India.
It is the food capital, the Sufi stronghold, the political capital, the cultural capital, the music capital, the art capital, the fashion capital as well as the wheeler dealer’s city.
In our view, one should give Delhi three clear touring days – this means four nights probably.
This Delhi time shall set you up nicely to enjoy and understand the rest of India much better.
A possible itinerary could be:
Day 1: The circuit of Humayun’s Tomb, Crafts Museum, Old Delhi (Jama Masjid, Red Fort (closed on Monday),
Chandni Chowk market (closed on Sunday)), India gate area and back.
Day 2: The circuit of Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, Hauz Khas Village, Lodhi Gardens, Khan Market and
Connaught Place (closed on Monday)
Day 3: A circuit of Nizamuddin Shrine, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Hanuman Temple, Nigambodh Ghat (cremation
grounds) and Akshardham Temple (closed on Monday).
Ideally, one should hire a car and driver. It is inexpensive and much hassle-free.
However, you can spend an even longer time:
Delhi is perhaps the most interesting city in the world and is easy even to spend two weeks here, especially if your interests are history and architecture.
A lot is going for Delhi – historical sights, lot’s of monuments and forts, bustling markets, interesting neighbourhoods. Here’s a random selection of some tips.
Delhi’s old city – you should spend plenty of time in Shahjahanabad, Delhi’s old walled town. Different neighbourhoods are entirely distinct from each other, and the place is always full of energy (and people).
The Forts and Monuments – Mostly in South Delhi, nearly every neighbourhood has something to offer by way of centuries-old buildings tucked away in their inner lanes.
One must visit Mehrauli, beyond the famous Qutb Minar monument. Mehrauli is full of character demonstrating the mixture of new and old of Delhi.
Tughlukhabad Fort, mostly quiet, has impressive ramparts and a fascinating urban village inside the walls.
As you wander around Delhi, you can expect to turn a corner and spot a few hundred years old mosque or temple or a building and turn the next corner – a chrome and glass facade is in your sight!
Khan Market – Near Lodhi Garden, a famous upscale market for Delhi frequented by expatriates, middle and upper classes – it has bookshops, boutiques, restaurants.
Noida – it is the new part of Dehi NCR suburb. Middle-class housing complexes, modern shopping malls, multiplexes – this is how today’s India lives.
Majnu ka Tila – a Tibetan neighbourhood – The culture of Tibetan people in a small microcosm.
Nizamuddin Dargah- A holy shrine of Sufi saint, it is frequented by devouts from all religions. Can be intimidating for some though there is nothing to worry – it has an honest and real India atmosphere.